Two classic office buildings on either end of Tacoma’s downtown are up for sale
Two familiar buildings in Tacoma are up for sale, with one of them on the local historic register.
The One Pacific Building, 621 Pacific Ave., across from Old City Hall, and the Armour Building, 101 E. 26th St., across from Brown & Haley, are being offered for $7.65 million and $3.96 million, respectively.
The listing agents are Brian Leibsohn and RJ Vara with Marcus & Millichap’s Seattle office.
One Pacific, built in Italian Renaissance style, dates back to the late 1800s as the Northern Pacific Railway Headquarters Building for its Tacoma division.
The building and the railroad were at the heart of Tacoma establishing itself as a city. Northern Pacific chose Tacoma as its western terminus in 1873, growing into a metropolis of about 30,000 residents by 1890, according to Tacoma Public Library Northwest Room archives.
Leibsohn told The News Tribune in an interview Thursday that One Pacific initially went on the market last fall but was withdrawn amid rising interest rates and market slowdown.
“It’s completely remodeled inside each suite. But the integrity of the lobbies and hallways is still pretty much there, so it’s got the historic feel to it.” he said. “And it’s got awesome views. The top floor, including the cupola, is occupied by a utility tenant, and they have an awesome wraparound deck. You can see Mount Rainier and it has unobstructed water views.”
One Pacific was added to Tacoma’s Register of Historic Places in 1975, and its marketing brochure notes that the site qualifies for the historical landmark tax credit: “The new ownership has the opportunity to engage and take advantage of the Washington state law allowing ‘special valuation’ that rewards property owners who invest in preservation of historic properties within the state.”
The Armour Building comes with an adjacent parking lot, while One Pacific has a shared parking arrangement with the city under the overpass, according to Leibsohn.
Barbi Leifert Podemski and her husband, Ben, are selling the properties, years after after acquiring the Armour Building in 2004 and One Pacific in 2005.
She told The News Tribune on Thursday that “the buildings are fantastic, and the people in the buildings, they’re just so wonderful. You couldn’t meet nicer people to have in the buildings as tenants.”
Selling them is hard, as she noted the area is “about to boom.“
“I go from the Armour building … to the downtown where the One Pacific building is. And that’s pretty much my route. And it’s just the most wonderful area,” she said. “And anybody who doesn’t bring their restaurant there now or their boutique or their sandwich shop is missing the boat.”
However, she noted she’s ready to pass on the landlord torch to someone else.
“We’re way, way, way past retirement,” she said. “You know, because I’m the manager of these buildings. It’s really a 24/7 job. And we like to provide really prompt, excellent service.”
She added, “I don’t have much of a say on who buys it. But I really want to sell it to good people who are going to be good stewards of these fantastic properties.”
As for what’s next, she plans to continue with her work as an artist.
“The gallery I’m with has been selling my work for the past seven years, so I’m going to continue to paint,” she said. “And I always like to create, so maybe there’ll be a business project or something. But you know, not on this mass, large scale. We’re small potatoes compared to a lot of people in town.
“But it was big for us.”